It’s a question many golfers often ask themselves: why do I pull my iron shots? The first thing to understand is that the clubface, by and large, dictates the start line. So, if you’re consistently starting your irons left of target, that’s probably why.
But how does that happen? The root cause can be hard to diagnose without the aid of launch monitors, but there are some common faults noticeable among amateurs.
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It’s a fairly obvious place to start but you must examine your alignment first and foremost. It’s easy to make mistakes here without noticing so lay down some alignment sticks in practice. Make sure your clubface is pointing at your target and that your feet, hips and shoulders are parallel to your ball-to-target line.
Getting into the habit of doing this is absolutely essential and if you spend any time watching the players on tour, you’ll spot them doing it too. When heading to the practice ground, spend a few minutes at the start of the session getting your alignment right.
The most common reason for a consistent pull is a poor ball position. An easy way to demonstrate how the club works on an arc through impact is laying down balls as pictured below. This exists because you are swinging the club around your body so it stands to reason that if the ball is forward in your stance the face will be slightly closed at impact.
If your alignment is good, check your ball position and if it is too far forward set it further back in your stance and that should help.
If your alignment and ball position are both good, the issue is likely with the swing itself. The first port of call would be to make sure you are not throwing the club outside the line at the start of the downswing. This is a common move often caused by too much upper body movement and will result in sliced drives and pulled iron shots explaining why slices and pulls are linked.
A great drill is to place an alignment stick straight into the ground, leaving a space between your lead hip and the stick of around a hand’s width. Swing to the top as normal. From here, the downswing should be initiated by your lead hip bumping into this stick. That will allow the club to drop naturally into a much better delivery position.
Work on this simple move, groove it into your swing and you should start to hit much better shots. Not only will you stop pulling your irons but for slicers out there, this will also help you fix your slice once and for all.